Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tying the Knot

       The hitch knot, to be specific. Since it was snowing all day and all local rivers around me were raging and cold, I decided to teach myself how to tie flies instead. I decided to start off by tying a San Juan worm since that was one of the easiest patterns to tie. It took a little bit of time to learn the craft. Between the curses, broken thread, and hook slipping from the vice, I had to scrap a couple of my
A nice brown I caught last June on a hare's ear
initial efforts. Eventually, I was able to figure it out and tie a couple of SJWs as well as a few Hare's Ear variants in olive and beige. 

SJW Recipe:
  • Ultra Chenille (Red)
  • 70 Denier Thread (Red)
  • Scud/Emerger Lightning Strike (size 12)
A helpful tip when tying a SJW is to singe the ends once you've finished tying to give it a more tapered appearance.

Hare's Ear Variant:

  • Nickel Bead (7/64 diameter)
  • Scud/Emerger Lightning Strike (size 14-16) 
  • 70 Denier Thread (Black or Beige)
  • Ultra Wire BR Gold
  • Dubbing (Olive or Beige)
The recipe calls for olive thread but I used black since I didn't have that color. It really doesn't make much difference and may even help you in highly pressured waters where subtle differences in appearance may make a world of difference. The olive color serves as a great caddis imitation. 

      So, in conclusion, there were some ups and downs but in the end, I learned from my mistakes and had fun tying my own flies. This season, I may hopefully achieve my goal of catching fish on my own flies. To get started on your own, I recommend watching youtube videos, Orvis instructional videos, and Wapsi Fly Tying Handbook by Bill Barrow, Eric Schmuecker, and Pat Neuner. I used the Bead Head Caddis and SJW recipes from the latter source with some minor changes. 
Additional Reading:
This website has a great number of beginner, intermediate, and advanced recipes. I recommend learning basics on fly tying before reading it since it is a bit of a tough read. 

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